When JusTea sent me this several weeks ago I was really excited by the prospect of trying an Earl Grey with a twist and it killed me not being able to review it yet. Earl Grey has been a favorite of mine absolutely forever, but because it is a favorite of mine I have very high standards.
Honestly, I didn’t like this tea at all in the beginning, it took quite a few cups for me to appreciate the differences the Kenya Black base brought to the table. There was a sweetness that I’m not accustomed to finding in an EG and the flavor was much more malty that I’m accustomed to. The familiar citrus flavors from the bergamot were there as was the slightly drying effect I generally associate with EG. What I loved was that this is no shy EG, it really packs a wallop, which may not appeal to everyone; however, I love a good strong cup of EG on a cold day like today.
My biggest disappointment with this tea, and one I had with the Kenyan Black as well, is that it just does not resteep well. I was only able to resteep it once and would love to see some improvement in that area.
One thing that I think is important to note is that the steeping instructions for this tea are slightly different than I am accustomed to using with a black tea and Earl Grey in general. It calls for a much lower temperature (195°F) and 2 teaspoons of leaf per 12oz. I double checked and all of the Earl Greys in my cabinet call for either boiling or near boiling water. For anyone who is having trouble with astringency, try dropping your steeping temperature and see if that makes a difference.
I would like to thank Tyrone at JusTea for sending me this sample. I hope you will all check out their crowdfunding campaign which launched on 16 September to raise the necessary capital to allow them to work with Kenyan farmers and provide quality “Direct Trade” tea to the masses and improve the quality of life of the farmers providing you your tea. You can find more information on their website http://www.justea.com/ you can also check out my full review of Kenya Black, which was used as a base for this tea on my blog